Cannonball Read IV #51
Barnes and Noble offers free ebooks on Fridays and I usually read the descriptions in case they might be books I like. Usually they sound pretty weird and not my taste at all, but I love mystery and suspense books so when 212 by Alafair Burke was up for grabs, I totally grabbed it. I’ve had it on my nook for months and just got around to reading it last week and I have to say, it by far surpassed by expectations.
212 is a book in the Ellie Hatcher series. It takes place in New York. A mysterious call comes in to the police and they discover a gruesome murder. Months later, after Hatcher and her partner JJ have been investigating but getting nowhere, two more murders take place – murders of a young college student as well as a 30-something real estate agent. The roommate of the college student is also violently attacked on the same day and at the same time as her roommate but survives and then, just as mysteriously as the deaths happen, she disappears. All three murders are connected, and Hatcher and JJ must figure out how before it’s too late.
I really, really enjoyed this book! One thing right off the bat that I loved is that even though it’s part of a series, I felt fine just jumping in with this latest installment. There were references to things that happened in previous novels, but they were mentioned with just enough detail so I knew what was going on but didn’t spend chapters dealing with back story. My point is, this book could have easily stood alone.
I really liked the character of Ellie. She seemed so real to me, especially given the pieces of her past that Burke presents. I can only imagine how much more I’d like her if I’d read all of her books (which I probably will). Ellie was a well-developed, human character. She is someone I could imagine having drinks with or hanging out with on the weekend. She is someone you’d want to be friends with, and so are the rest of her team of players. That’s not to say she or the other characters aren’t flawed, but their flaws only accentuate their humanness.
Likewise, I also enjoyed the actual story that was taking place. There were parts where the mystery was weak and I saw the connections to other characters easily, but I enjoyed the writing so much that I didn’t care – I wanted to keep reading to see how the detectives put it all together. It was just mysterious and gory enough to keep me on my toes without making me want to throw up.
Check if out if you’re a mystery and suspense fan. If you like Mary Higgins Clark and Patricia Cornwell, my guess is that you’ll enjoy this read – Ellie is a little rougher than MHC and Cornwell’s female protagonists, but she’s also a lot more fun.